That’s an amazing story! A true “nose to the wind” experience. Congratulations.
I think stories like these are extremely important. The experience you just described is what I seek with my training. Sometimes I question myself when people ask the dreaded, “What are you training for?” and my answer is just long days in the mountains with friends, not a particular race, pace, or distance. I notice that the greater endurance community can be very focused on going hard or going huge, regardless of how destroyed one feels during and after these objectives, and I don’t relate to that. In fact, I think it’s unhealthy. To feel better than you thought you would on a big day out is the ultimate prize to me, so again, congrats! You crushed it and you earned it.